Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ESPN staff fired over "Chink in the Armor" headline

I thought it was rather sad that a dude lost his ESPN job over an Idiom with origins dated back to 1600s in the Middle English days.

Source: KSBW

Apparently, this guy wrote the headline about Jeremy Lin's lost in the recent game, naming the article "A chink in the armor." A storm of furor sets in and the article was pulled offline within 30mins. The Chinese/Asian community including some American Chinese politician was contributing to the brouhaha over this episode, and ranting that it was racism etc.

hello, the guy didnt coined up this line and deliver it as an insult. This is an old idiom, a legitimate text with legitimate meaning. Just because "Chink" by itself is a derogatory slang demeaning Chinese and Asians, in this case, i think people are getting their panties in a bunch and overreacting. Must people these days be so damn sensitive over words and things. I know China power is changing the tide and perception of the chinese economic prowess across the globe, thus resulting in such panic handling of the "crisis" by firing the chap. Why must everything be so politically correct these days, with growing fear of saying one wrong thing and setting yourself ablaze from the surmounting condemnation from all corners of the world.

On hindsight, it was probably a regrettable choice of idiom usage (not a good time to show your great command of English) but definitely do not warrant such a severe punishment. Perhaps he should be suspended or something for not thinking with his head over the possible sensitivity issue, but I certainly do not see the need to fire him. Afterall, no one cry foul when the very same line was used during Obama's campaign when it was written "she (Hilary) was a chink in Obama's armor". So then it didnt matter but now just because the Asian latched on the unfortunate word "chink", "a molehill turned into a fiery mountain" so to speak...such double standards isnt it? When you go after someone, please at least verify that the said questionable line was used in context. Dont just read one word and scream blue murder. 

I think it's sad. It's sad that people hasnt learnt to respect different races, and some people are so quick to take offence at everything. Do we Chinese have such a BIG chip on our shoulder that we must make a fuss about everything we think its wrong? I cannot pass judgement on other cases but i think the brouhaha over this incident is really unwarranted. I am sure it is an honest mistake and no racism was in mind when he used the headline. 

Of course, there will always be naysayers in this world. I hope I am not "ruffling some feathers" with this article.

I certainly hope no one thinks that with the use of "ruffling the feathers", I am implying that anyone who support the firing is a "dodo bird" (stupid person).

There are calls for the retirement of this old phrase "chink in the armor" because it is outdated and obsolete.
If that does happens, I will rue the day when that happens. For there it will imply we will be stepping backwards instead of progressing forward.
If everything that sounds rude should be obliterated from our English books, then I think we have a lot to phase out such as to give a few examples...

- "Barking up the wrong tree"
- "As sick as dog"
- "Underdog"
-"Every dog has its day"
- "Call the dogs off"

Least anyone should have their imagination run amok and think I am calling them a dog....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ramen Lunch@豚王 at Tung Lung Street CWB

Been unable to sleep at night lately and so I woke up at 2.30pm today after struggling to sleep at 4am last night.

My gf called me. She just finished her haircut in Causeway bay and asked if I wanted to meet her for a meal or quick dessert. Recalling I need to get groceries and sent the pants to tailor, told her to give me 20mins to get dressed and walked down.

I suggested the Ramen place 豚王 she told me about at Tung Lang street 燈籠街. There was a Q but a quick fast moving one. The joint was REALLY small but super PACK! there were 4 flavors to choose from.

I opted for the Pork Based soup normal Ramen, with Japanese style ChaiSiew. We get to pick the variation, like if you wanted more or less or no spring onions, garlic, chaisiew etc, degree of hardness of noodles etc.

I love it. Honestly, it is WAY BETTER than the Ippudo@CWB, opposite Times Square. There is simply NO FIGHT. Win hands down. The soup broth was rich and yummy, without the greasy oiliness. The Chaisiew was also nicely sliced, sweet and fresh.

Apparently the chef is a Japanese. Service was fast, and spot on.

We were sharing a table with another couple, and another lady. When the couple left, I commented on the leftover for the spicy ramen, that I am glad I didnt order that since she couldnt finish it. The other lady who was still eating replied me out of the blue, "Yeah it was too spicy for her." So I continued the conversation with this stranger. "Is it really THAT spicy?" I look at her noodles pointedly since she was also having the spicy version. "Well, if you can take spice it;s ok." She smiled at me as she continued eating. Okie, in case u think it's strange, its not. People in Hk are happy to just reply your "up in the air" question if its a generic question. I am happy to reply them because I appreciate the fact that they satisfied my curiosity. Perhaps some may think it's rude of them to "intrude" suddenly into your conversation but I really dont see it that way. What's wrong with sharing a view right?

Anycase, she went on eating and I went on discussing noodles with my gf. In the end, we both agree this is really good and worth repeated visits!!!

I completely forgot about taking pictures until i was almost done. So I figured I would just take the "after meal" shot for a change, just to show and commemorate how much soup I had drunk!

Catch up at Mozza

Just before I took off to return to Hk, managed to grab a Sat "lunch" with another group of frens. Havent caught up with Stan and wifey since they relocated back from Sydney, and Butterfly had been so busy with his Interior Design business that we kept missing out on each other. The funny thing was when I had posted this in FB, my other fren bunny gal went gasping and commented "is that u stan?! U have expanded!" I thought it was really funny! I didnt even realise he was growing horizontally since that was how I rem him back in Oz so...conclusion, food in oz makes us fat. There.

The reason i said "lunch" was because we sat there from 12pm till 6.30pm. It wasnt intended that way but since MBS is so packed on weekend and we lack a better change of venue that can assure a seat, we just decided to plonk and order more food at Mozza. The mushroom was good, everything so.

Stan is busy preparing for his upcoming wedding but I was so apologetic and disappointed that I couldnt make it since it clash with my upcoming Morroco and Lisbon trip. Darn. So happen that we have 3 PH days off in the same week in April that we decide to take advantage of it.

The conversation steered towards their new place, and with our ID guru there who is also their ID renovator and designer, we had much to talk about. It was fun, it was my fav topic- designing that is.
By 6.30pm, I had to dashed off since I was meeting another couple for dinner and also to visit their house which is currently being rebuilt.

When i got up to their rooftop on the 4th floor, it then hit me as I survey the 360 view. I just realised my best frens' house is like 2 streets behind my ex-bf's house. Oh dear lord. Even though we are on good terms, dont really fancy the thought of ever wanting to bump into him regularly when I hang out at my fren's place. Sigh...what to do when everyone wants to live in the East. That aside, love what my frens are doing to their place. Hee heee, esp more so when I have a guest room "reserved" for my stay anytime. I am looking forward to that rooftop BBQ man. Am sure our Ozzie men will love chilling out there, having a slinger in hand, doing what Ozzie boys love best, shooting pellets at those annoying noisy raven flying overhead. Lol.

CNY: A happy home cooked meal at galfren's home

This is a special year coz one of my galfren actually made the effort to cook lunch for me and another galfren for our visit to her new place during CNY period. Seriously, not many of my galfrens cook, least of all taking the time and effort to do so. So thank you very much YT for being such a sweetheart!!
A bowl of heartfelt goodness

Serving our meal with much love

A hot and sweaty chef out from kitchen

The two happy "HK resident" recipients

Didnt realise how far Sembawang was from my place until I took a cab there. Hahaha. So much for a home grown Singaporean. First time ever to Sembawang. I love the space her house had and though her jackfruit tree looked awesome with huge fruit dangling off it, my fren told me it tasted awful. Hahaha!

CNY 2012: Catching up and Dinner at Wok and Barrel

Just shortly after Xmas, headed back to Singapore again for CNY. As usual, busy and met up with several friends esp those from college. It was really nice of them to make time on a weekday night considering CNY was on Mon and Tues. It was another good dinner, with lotsa of bantering, laughs and gossip. We didnt talk about it but I think it was a pity my fren lost out in the recent "race", for personally, I believed she would have done a wonderful job coz she has so much passion and concerns for the Singapore entertainment industry and wanted so much to be done to protect the (budding) local talents. Oh well. Hopefully our senior Janice will do a great job.

In one of the dinner, when my college council fren had wanted to pick up the tab as a treat for my husband, saying that he was a guest. It was a very sweet gesture but we declined and insisted on going Dutch. My partner was funny, he quipped "No no I am not a guest, I am a PR." Everyone had a good laugh!

On another day, hubby and I also got caught with another fav fren for lunch just before we left town. Funny how we walked all over just to look for a spot to take a pix. Hahaha.

I had read about Wok and Barrel from Cathay Pacific inflight magazine and so I thought of trying it this trip. Luckily for me, it was opened on Thurs and so as usual, I grabbed my food lover couple buddies for it. Esp more so since my fren knew the chef Shen as she was their meat supplier and she was raving about the place to me after I suggested the place.

When we reached there, the funniest thing was bumping into my ex-colleague, a good fren of mine and his wife! Ha! Then he told me the place was co-owned by his friend whom I was acquainted with for a while several years back. Talk about surprise and small world. However, since I havent kept in touch with her, I didnt want to chat her up there in the restaurant since I didnt want to appear as if I wanted to cosy up to her. I dont think she rem me either since I looked pretty much different from over 10years ago and when we had first met and hung out; it wasnt the best moments we both were having shitty times of our own. No matter, good for her and that things are working out wonderfully for her, and me too. Ha!

That aside and food!
Honestly, no regrets. I love the food at Wok and Barrel. I love how they put a spin to the local flavors and yet not losing a shred of its authencity. I hate those East meets West Fusion dish which leaves you going "What the..." However, in Wok and Barrel, the very essence and spirit of each dish was retained though some better than others.

We basical tried the Wagyu Rendang beef, the pizza, the bak gua ribs, all with the Nasi rice. Shen also whipped up some noodles for us just to taste. As for desserts, it was 4 of the top hits with the choc, the banana parfait, the chendol panacotta, and the Hitom dish. I was so into my food and conversation that I was too distracted to get a good pix of each dish...I even forgotten about the ribs till I had polished it off and licking my fingers....sorry folks.

The pizza was really good and I love the rendang! The ribs were good too but since I am not a bak gua (pork jerky) person, it didnt make it to top 3. As we tasted the noodles, Shen was telling us the story of the noodle origin of how she made it for her aunt, and how she went convincing Shen to make it a menu staple. It was the when she enacted the story that had me laughing quite a bit as I sipped my delightful Apple Cider. Incidentally, Shen convinced me to have a go and treated me to the Kiwi Beer they had. For someone who hates beer, it was surprisingly good, light and refreshing with no funny after beer bitter taste. Like!

My highlights were really the desserts. I love all of them. I really do! I especially like the chendol panacotta with the red bean icecream, and the Pulo Hitom dish. It has no words to describe except yummilicious.  This is one place I would really come back for. I think Shen did a great job in retaining the food flavors and creating a twist for it. Best of all, because I know who supplies her produce, at least I know she is getting the best fresh lot since my fren doesnt muck around with her business or sting on importing "fresh yummy food only" just to cut cost like many others do!

Lunch with classmates

The good thing about going to classes like my Jap class is getting to know another bunch of people apart from my HK ex-colleagues. 

The gals decided to have lunch at SR gallery to try the organic meal and it wasnt too bad. My prawn spag was ok but not wow fantastic. A decent meal with a nice environment.

It was another Asia mix of Hong Kongers,  Taiwanese and Singaporean. So the conversation was often peppered with Cantonese and Mandarin and English. Guess most of us can afford to have lunch during off peak together since all except one are homemakers. Lucky. 

Funny how all my frens and excolleagues are now stay home mums or just home makers, but none of my friends in Singapore are, well except one. So in Singapore, it's always so hard to catch up with frens in the afternoon unlike in HK. It's strange, I mean in HK, living cost is equally high but it is more acceptable for wives not to work here than in Singapore. There is always like a self imposed stigma in Singapore if one doesnt work. All my frens will ask "Dont you want to work?" in Singapore or make annoying remarks like "you tai tai lah." I know there is no malice but its just sooo ignorantly annoying. In HK, I never ever get that. NEVER. Being a home maker is like way of life here, no envy or scathing remarks. Women here are happy not to work and raise their own kids. No, I'm not talking about spouse of bankers or corporate high fliers. Even my average contractor and others average income family can afford a housewife, what is wrong in Singapore? All my frens either say finances doesnt allow them, or that they will be bored at home. Bored? Seriously? You must be a "quite some case" to be bored at home when there are so much things you can do with your time, excluding chores and cooking. Then of course, I'm not them, I dont know. I;m just glad I have my circle of frens for social time though I actually pretty much prefer to stick around doing my stuff at home.

After the meal, we looked at some of the artworks. Not bad, nice but overpriced. My frens were laughing that we prob could get some of the stuff for half the price back in Taiwan.

DIY Recipe: Steamed Prawns with fried garlic and soya sauce.

Saw the freshest lovely live prawns in the wet market tonite and couldnt resist them at all! So bought some back for steam prawns. A quick and super easy meal to prepare tonight! Looking at all the live produce, I really think this is the BEST thing about living in HK. I just had Morton bugs the other night too coz they were available in market, in fact I am eyeing on that fresh lobster....

Anycase, back to my dinner ingredients for tonight! I dont like fried food, but really like most of my dishes steamed if I can. I dont like stir fried prawns either, esp not when they are this fresh! Just the colors alone are mouth watering. My hubby and I were laughing at the prawns with its motor fast wriggling legs (backstrokes paddling on its back) in the water. Then I was laughing at my partner for taunting the prawns that they will soon be eaten. What a grown up big kid! That aside, here's my simple steps for 15-20 mins cooking.

1. Rinsed Prawns (about 10-11 medium size)
2. Finely Chopped garlic (not minced, so dont use those garlic crusher). - 4 cloves. For Frying
3. Finely sliced ginger strips, quantity up to your personal preference. This is for frying
3. Roughly sliced Ginger pieces, about 6 pieces. For Steaming with prawns
4. Chopped rinsed scallions or Spring onion - 1 stalk.
5. Clear Chinese Rice wine. I suppose u can use shaoxing wine but I didnt.
6. 1/2 of a big chilli, deseeded and minced. NOT chilli padi
7. 1 stalk of spring onion, halved vertically. Only need the bottom of the stalk, meaning, the half with the bulb minus the roots. Dont really need the green bits. For steaming

Sauce Ingredient
1. 1- 1.5 Tsp of Fish sauce
2. 1/2 Tsp of Sugar
3. 1-2 Tablespoon of soya sauce

Cooking Steps
1. Just 10mins before cooking, mix 5 tablespoon of chinese rice wine into the rinsed prawns to season. If your prawns are still alive like mine, they wont like it and will jump, so cover with a lid or plate.
2. Line prawns into a steaming metal plate. Try not to pile them to ensure evenly cooked.
3. Throw in the sliced ginger and halved spring onion into the prawn lot to steam with.
*4. Cover the plate with foil and poke holes randomly all over to allow steam to get in. The foil is only required if u have live prawns to prevent the suicidal prawns jumping into the boiling water. So this is optional.
5. Steam prawns for about 8-10mins depending on your prawn thickness, mine was cooked for 10-11mins for the prawns were 1.5-2 fingers width big and I had covered the plate with foil.
you should know its cook when it turned bright red throughout from head to tail.
6. Put the chopped spring onion onto the prawns

Sauce Steps
1. In a sauce pot, heat 2 tablespoon extra light olive oil.
2. Fry chopped garlic and finely sliced ginger strips. When browned, remove from oil.
3. Next, fry the minced unseeded chilli for a min or less and remove from oil.
4. When prawns are ready, pour the excess liquid from the steamed dish and mixed with sauce ingredients above. This helps to dissolve the sugar.
5. Heat up the previous frying oil, and when warm, pour the sauce mixture into the warm oil and quickly remove from heat and pour the bubbled up sauce into the steamed prawn. Pour all over the prawns.
6. Add the fried garlic, ginger mixed with the chilli over the prawns.

Voila. Done.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Baking Brownies with Nigella's recipe

Had some time and since it was Valentine, baked some brownie. This will be my freaking 3rd attempt and I swore it would be my last time if it still didnt turn out well.

Thanks to Nigella's recipe, it worked finally! However, I have only just realised that brownies taste better the next day than just after baked. Strange. Oh well....Happy Valentine day!